ATM 2020: European travel to GCC set for spike

Arrivals from the UK to the GCC will increase 22 per cent over the period from 2018 to 2024, driven by new and direct flight routes, competitive air fares and a growing number of leisure travellers.

That is according to the latest data released ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2020.

Research carried out by Colliers International, on behalf of Arabian Travel Market, shows as many as 2.8 million UK residents will travel to the GCC in 2024, an additional 500,000 travellers when compared to 2018 arrival figures.

Adding to this, figures from Arabian Travel Market this year show the number of delegates, exhibitors and attendees interested in doing business with the UK increased by five per cent.

Danielle Curtis, exhibition director, Middle East, Arabian Travel Market, said: “Historically, the UK and the GCC have enjoyed excellent travel and tourism links and this trend is set to continue over the next four years despite the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the bleak pound to dollar exchange rate, in which sterling has declined 18.9 per cent since June 2015.

“However, the UAE is expected to continue to be the preferred GCC destination for British tourists, welcoming a projected 2.23 million visitors by 2023.

“Saudi Arabia will follow with 251,000 visitors, while Oman will welcome 165,000, Bahrain 159,000 and Kuwait 5,000.”

UK tourists travelling to the GCC are expected to generate an estimated US$6.3 billion in travel and tourism revenue by 2024, an increase of 34 per cent when compared with figures from 2018, according to the research data.

Building on this, total tourism spend in the GCC, reached US$70 billion last year, with the UK travellers average spend during trips to the region, 27 per cent higher than the average spend of any other visitor.

“The UK, as a consistent and key top source market for the GCC, continues to present significant growth potential for travel and tourism revenue across the region.

“In return the GCC, UAE and Dubai in particular, besides being a commercial hub, offers year-round sunshine, unique travel experiences, world-class hotels and resorts and fast-paced leisure facilities and amenities,” added Curtis.

More Information

Arabian Travel Market is considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, and welcomed almost 40,000 people to its 2019 event with representation from 150 countries.

The 2020 event takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 19th-22nd.

Find out more here.

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